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Case Analysis 17 April, 2013

The Port Said Uprising: The Emergence of Regionalism in the Absence of National Unity

Keyword

هاني عواد

باحث في المركز العربي للأبحاث ودراسة السياسات، ومدير تحرير دورية عمران. عمل سابقًا مساعدًا أكاديميًّا في جامعة بيرزيت، التي نال منها شهادة الماجستير في الدراسات العربيّة المعاصرة. حاصل على شهادة الدكتوراه في التنمية الدولية من جامعة أكسفورد في بريطانيا. تتركز اهتماماته البحثية على الحركات الاحتجاجية، والسوسيولوجيا التاريخية، وسوسيولوجيا المكان، وسياسات الريف، والسوسيولوجيا الحضرية والنظرية السياسية. صدر له كتاب عن الشبكة العربية للأبحاث والنشر بعنوان "تحولات مفهوم القومية العربية: من المادي إلى المتخيل".

The second anniversary of the Egyptian revolution was celebrated while the country faced another crisis. On January 25, 2013, Egypt witnessed a wave of violence in its cities, which escalated after the courts preliminary ruling that ordered the death sentences for 21 citizens convicted of voluntary manslaughter after inciting the violence that overtook the Port Said Stadium in February 2012. Following the verdict, the families of the accused rampaged through the streets and attacked Port Said's prison, where the defendants were detained, triggering a wave of clashes that continued for several days and cost the lives of dozens of Egyptians. The following two weeks saw the city turn into an arena for protest and civil unrest, with slogans stressing the regional dynamic of these popular movements. These developments shed light on the significance of the Port Said incidents, especially because they exhibited civilian conflict based on regionalism for the first time since the outbreak of the Egyptian revolution.

This paper analyzes the nature of the uprising in Port Said, as well as its social and cultural roots, and examines the stances and different approaches adopted by Egypt's political powers, both those in opposition and those in power.


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**This article was translated by the ACRPS Translation and English Editing Department. The original Arabic version can be found here.